Every once in a while, maybe once in a lifetime, you have an experience that changes your life. The Halchita Community Center Project could be one of those for myself and my husband. We had the opportunity to provide for and with an almost “forgotten” community and learn about our country’s indigenous culture through song, stories and in depth conversations. My appreciation for our Native Americans is much heightened and I’m happy to now be a stronger ally to groups of individuals that I would have never had an opportunity other than through Rotary.
We had the pleasure of representing our Salt Lake Club along with a crew of about 75 Utah Rotarians/family members from every part of our state and backgrounds! We converged on this little, somewhat Isolated Navajo community in the far SouthEastern part of Utah to provide what could ultimately be a major improvement to the lives of the Halchita residents. We worked with and learned from the Navajo Tribal members, as we totally redid a neglected building in the village to create a gathering place and a location of growth and fellowship.
Members painted the outside and inside of the building, redid the kitchen, created a library, renovated bathrooms, redid a sports field and outdoor landscaping and created indoor activity centers. We were also honored to be part of a Trunk or Treat at the end of the 3 days and the families truly shared their appreciation for our efforts.
I would encourage any Rotarian to take advantage of service opportunities when they arise. I am very thankful to be a Rotarian and engage so deeply in our communities, close and far in out incredible state.